Spices have been used in food and as medicine for thousands of years. I’ve recently come across some new information on black pepper which I’d like to share. In the March (2015) issue of Bottom Line Personal, Bill Gottlieb, CHC, reports that an ingredient in black pepper called piperine, the component that makes one sneeze, has numerous health benefits. One: Piperine fights cancer. In a test of 55 natural compounds, piperine scored number one in killing triple-negative breast cancer which is the worst type. Mr. Gottlieb cites another study in which piperine killed aggressive HER2 breast cancer cells and even stopped the deadly HER2 gene from activating. He cites other research showing that piperine can slow, stop, or kill prostate, colorectal, lung, cervical, liver, and stomach cancers. But wait, there’s more. This pungent spice is also anti-inflammatory, and studies show that it can halt the destruction of cartilage associated with osteoarthritis, and reduce inflammation from episodes of gout.

I have another use for pipeline- I grind some into my turmeric powder to increase absorption. Turmeric is hard for the gut to absorb, but when combined with black pepper, absorption increases by 2,000 percent. I put black pepper on as many foods as I can, but to get the best benefits from it, use whole, black peppercorns (they have the most   piperine), and grind just before eating- the longer pepper is exposed to air, the lower the piperine content.

I’m giving lectures at several spots around the valley on balance and how to stay independent. Recent studies show that smelling black pepper oil improves postural stability in older people, thus preventing falls. Put a drop of oil on a tissue and inhale for two minutes, two to three times a day. Black pepper oil is available at Amazon.com

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.